22 December 2008

Repost: Gesu Bambino

Gesu Bambino

...my Christmas present to all of you! Yes, I guess that means I've been officially driven to "regifting"! Lol. You don't mind, do you?

19 December 2008

In which I denounce crafting...

I've refinished the same Christmas gift about 3 times. I made a set of photo blocks for my mother-in-law. Super cute project. But I warn you, it is a pain in the _______ to make. In fact, I might even put that on the tag... "Merry Christmas, your present was a pain in the ______ to make! And peace on earth."

The instructions are to first, paint your wooden blocks - so that the edges or sides you don't use have a finished look. And I didn't do that. I applied my photos first and then painted the sides I chose not to use. Some black paints leave residual behind. And it gets on your fingers. And then it gets on your photos. And if you try to wipe it off the photos you'll take some of the finish off your photos. Even if you've applied a waterproof sealant like mod podge. So, buy good paint that does not rub off. Moving on...

Next you mod podge photos to a 4x4 set of wooden blocks (you dissect the photos to fit over 4 blocks on each side, and they fit together like a puzzle, in the shape of a cube... make sense?) You have the choice of just covering the outside of the cube with photos, or adding them to the inside as well, so that every side of each individual block has part of a picture on it, and every which way you turn the blocks they can form a picture.

Did you know how much mod podge likes to stick to itself? So, mistake #2, do not mod podge photos on the inside of the blocks, outside only. Okay. Moving on!

Before applying the photos it's important to make sure they face the way you want them too. So that your kids aren't upside down on one side, for example. Not as easy as it sounds, I am afraid. I felt like I needed my high school calculus teacher assisting me with this one. UGH!

Maybe it's just stress coming to a head. But I feel the insatiable urge to grab a few of those cute little "I took the handmade pledge" bloggy buttons and mame them. And forget baking anymore goodies, I'm regifting the zucchini-banana-pumpkin-whateverelseisinit bread, too! Hmph!

15 December 2008

On Dasher, on Dancer, on Donner, on Blitzen...

On sugar cookies, on toffee, on truffles, on cinnamon...

First in the round of baking this year was cookies with the kids. Found these fun candies at World Market. Aren't they festive looking on top of a cookie In the recent Pier 1 Imports catalog I saw these fruit wheels perched on the rims of glasses. How fun!

10 December 2008

Christmas Spirit

Every season starts off the same - waking up at the crack of dawn on Black Friday and trying to convince myself that's officially time to prepare for Christmas. Although there is the music and red and green to prove it, I'm not always feeling it.

Christmas has always been one of my favorite times of the year. However, as I've grown older, added more children to my family and more responsibility to my plate, it's gotten harder and harder for me to find the time to just enjoy the feeling of Christmas. I struggle with finding the joy in shopping and wrapping and giving and baking and decorating and warding off the stress in it all. But I love the memories all that work helps to create.

Christmas music is a constant for us during the month of December. I love it of course because I am a musician, but music also triggers memories. This morning as I drove my children to school I had one such memory trigger. Blue Christmas by Elvis came on the radio and I was immediately taken back, back, back to decorating the Christmas tree with my parents and my brothers. We listened to the same old records every year - Barbara Streisand, Elvis Presley, Bing Crosby. They echoed through the house as we sorted and decorated. We usually had some goodies to munch on and it was just a very lovely time for our family. Everyone was happy - that was the best part. Happy and GOOFY. My Dad would always say just the right thing to send us all into hysterics, snorting our eggnog and choking on our cookies.

So if you find yourself caught up in the hullabaloo that really has nothing to do with the happy feelings of Christmas, take some time to reflect on your happy memories. I like to think about my first Christmas with my husband. I remember opening my eyes and looking up at the ceiling, I remember what song came on the radio, I even remember what I wore to my in-laws for breakfast, because I was so excited.

Bring on the Christmas cheer!

03 December 2008

2 fun holiday craft ideas I'd love to get to...

... but in case I don't (and honestly? proably won't), I'll share them with you!

I got this idea off the cover of Garnet Hill. Tell me this isn't a great idea for homemade Christmas cards.


And tell me these aren't perfect for stockings! Think of all the cute socks they have in the $1 aisle at Target... that means they'd have to be made on a small scale.. but, uh huh. I want to see how yours turn out. ;) And if you get a hold of the catalog they have some darling fishy shaped ones on the back cover that would be ULTRA easy (like for non-seamstresses such as me).